Departments of Cancer Genetics and Urology, Center for Genetics and Pharmacology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY, USA.
Patients with localized prostate cancer (PCa) have several therapeutic options with good prognosis. However, survival of patients with high-risk, advanced PCa is significantly less than patients with early-stage, organ-confined disease. Testosterone and other androgens have been directly linked to PCa progression since 1941. In this review, we chronicle the discoveries that led to modern therapeutic strategies for PCa. Specifically highlighted is the biology of androgen receptor (AR), the nuclear receptor transcription factor largely responsible for androgen-stimulated and castrate-recurrent (CR) PCa. Current PCa treatment paradigms can be classified into three distinct but interrelated categories: targeting AR at pre-receptor, receptor, or post-receptor signaling. The continuing challenge of disease relapse as CR and/or metastatic tumors, destined to occur within three years of the initial treatment, is also discussed. We conclude that the success of PCa therapies in the future depends on targeting molecular mechanisms underlying tumor recurrence that still may affect AR at pre-receptor, receptor, and post-receptor levels.
Keywords: Prostate cancer, androgen, AR, castrate-recurrent, treatment, FDA.